I read this during a dull moment (David Brooks' analysis) of the DNC broadcast this evening:
"But as the popularity of the site (Kickstarter), and others like Indiegogo, increases, users have been asking: What happens when I donate to a project but then the recipient never follows through?" (from CNN.com).
I contributed to a project over three years ago from an artist I have admired and followed for thirty years. How long should I wait before I reveal their (hint-her) name? Should I blog about it or let it go?
For the record it was not a Kickstarter funded project.
I received an update and will post something soon.
And yeah, an excuse was offered (after I mentioned I might blog about it on ND!).
I've funded a small number of Kickstarter projects (less than 10) and am still waiting for 2 of them to send me anything. One project got finished and the album released, but the person never sent any Kickstarter donor the album or the rewards, that I know of. Amazingly, I found the album on a bit torrent and didn't feel the least bit bad downloading it, since I figured I already paid for it. The second project recorded everything but never released the album. I think there are VERY few scammers in the Kickstarter music world, mainly just artists who get overwhelmed by the work involved in satisfying their many happy donors.
Kickstarter now has become like a pre-sale site for albums, and I know a few bands who have explicitly treated their fundraisers that way. Thing is, people are getting the albums for cheaper than they'd buy in person, AND the artist has to do a bunch of extra things, like handmade notes, or personal drawings, etc. Bands should maybe start thinking twice about Kickstarter. Is it worth the effort just to pre-sale some of your CDs for less than you'd usually make and more work?
Myself and unknown countless others donated money to Slobberbone frontman Brent Best,going on three years ago.In return we were to recieve a solo album.They have posted on their web page as little as a year ago Brent was working on it and still planned to deliver.Im guessing once the money is gone,so is the drive to deliver the project.I think Brent's writing is genius,however I would have been glad to throw the money that way with nothing promised in return!
I would say you should contact Kickstarter to find out first from them if they have any update on what's happening with the artist's project. Or perhaps the artist has a website you can contact them via to ask them directly? It is pretty poor, I must say. At the very least, if the artist's project has not been able to go ahead - for whatever reason at all - they should at least have got in touch with those who had donated and apologise for not being able to fulfil their promises or explain the reason for the delay. Otherwise doners are left hanging and wondering the worst when there could be a reasonable explanation. Having said that, over 3 years is a pretty long time to have not heard anything at all. It did take me two and 1/2 years to complete my album though so it's not completely unlikely that the project could still be being worked on. Nonetheless, at least have the respect to let those who've donated know what the situation is. It's simple courtesy really.
Can I ask for thoughts generally on crowd funding? I have been keen to get views myself recently since I've been considering using a site called Pledge Music, which originated in the UK, to obtain funding for a tour I want to do next year. I'm still in two minds about it I guess cos it still seems a little odd to me (I was brought up to never ask for money). I also have to carefully consider what incentives I'd give as I'm a little unsure about the "dinner with the band" option.
I do think, on the whole, crowd funding is a great idea though. In this age of independent music making I see it as a good way forward which clearly even well very established artists are employing to progress their careers. I guess there's always gonna be the odd story of the artist who never fulfilled - which is terrible really. But hopefully it won't put anyone off entirely. There are still a hell of a lot of genuine peeps out there who need the support of those who are prepared to use schemes such as these.
It was (is?) not an official Kickstarter project but it was crowd funded. I'd be inclined to cut the musician some slack but she has been doing this for over 30 years AND the only communication occurred after I bitched. I'll post the details including the call and response from her manager in the next week or so.
C'mon Hal , spill the beans !
I've always felt like Kickstarter is meant to be like investing in a small business (which is how the site got started anyway.) If the project fails, then you lost your money. If it succeeds, you get what you paid for. But there's no guaranteeing the project will be finished.
Just watch Shark Tank, people. ;)
Has anyone used, or have any knowledge of, IndieGoGo? Heard the name mentioned tonight by someone for the first time but know nothing of it otherwise..
In May 2009 I was excited to hear about Linda Thompson's Hector Fund based recording project. I was new to crowd-funding, perhaps naive, and contributed. Month, years passed without an update.
Any news on the project or did you take the money and run? Two years and nothing? Not cool.
We did not take the money & run--the album is still in development. We are no longer working with Linda directly, but her manager, Jake Guralnick, will be following up with you shortly.
Thanks for the update. It seems like Jake/Linda should have kept people up to date....two years is a long time.
Jake Guralnick, Linda's manager is handling the project. I forwarded your last email to him. He can update you. We haven't been involved for a while now. I'm not sure what the delay is but I'm sure Jake G. and Linda have their reasons. I'm also sure that they've been in contact with their supporters.I'll let him update you.
Is anyone reading this email (still) connected with Linda's project?
No communication from the start. I plan on writing this up for NoDepression so you might want to reply if you have anything to say.
We're talking three years...............
the money was not taken and run away with. The album has been completely tracked, and partially mixed. We're hoping to have it complete before the end of the year (we are planning to finish the mixing in October), and released next year.
It was probably a huge mistake for us to attempt to do the self-funding route-- we did raise *some* money but not nearly as much as we needed-- and for the most part it is a self financed project by Linda and her producer Ed Haber. We very much appreciate the support of the people that did donate.
Of course, It does not excuse our non communication.
There is a reason that Kickstarter and the other models do not collect the money unless the full target is reached-- it is much smarter for a zillion reasons and keeps the time frame condensed.
If you'd like to call and discuss further I'm at XXX-XXX-XXXX
Okay. I'm gonna wait for the disc instead of posting a snarkey blog at ND.
But, some communication along the way would have gone a long way.
Thanks for the update,
So here we are on 11/14/12 and no further information. I'm no longer interested in the disc (if it ever is completed) and I thought the story should be told. In retrospect, this quote from Linda unfortunately says it all:
"You the audience can share in the experience of making my record with me and be the first to hear it when its done--and I get to stick it to "the man" (whoever passes for the 'man' these days) by working outside of the system."
Unsolicited advice: Record an acoustic track (cost=free) and send it to those who contributed. Send a few emails! I've contributed to various crowd-funded projects and have received both mass emails and personal notes/updates/thanks. Although this left a bad taste in my mouth I have and will continue to contribute as my finances allow.